At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness.
Do you ever wonder what Jesus was doing in all those years that He was “growing up”? He was a son, an older brother, an apprentice in Joseph’s carpenter shop. Did he play with the neighborhood kids? We know He went to Synagogue but did He speak there with the rabbis? Now, here He is, 30 years old, about to burst on the scene. He has this dramatic Baptism and then, He disappears from the scene! What, wait a minute! This cannot be right. Why does God acknowledge who He is, and whose He is, and then send Him out into the wilderness, into a solitary existence for 40 days?
All I can say, at first glance, is that Jesus must have had a ton of patience! But on a second glance I would say that He also had a ton of trust. Somehow, I believe, patience is linked to trust.
Our daughter has a service dog that goes to work with her as she serves children in our judicial system. We get to “dog sit” Aubrey once in a while. Aubrey is a patient dog but she is also a trusting dog. Like most dogs, Aubrey loves to eat, but when we fill her bowl she has been trained to sit and look at the food, but not eat, until you give her the command to eat. Then she promptly inhales her food in a true dog fashion! Aubrey demonstrates the patience to wait, but she also trusts us that she will get her meal.
Patience is one of the “fruits of the spirit,” one of the signs of having your life filled with God. Jesus had to have the patience to wait for His time to come. He had to have the patience to endure 40 days in the wilderness and He did it all because He trusted in His Father and His Father’s plan.
As I think about this, I think of us in this time of waiting. Has your patience run thin? I know mine has, and at times I hear myself saying “When will this end?” But I do trust God, and I do trust that He is working in our world. I do trust that He has our good in His heart. I do trust that He is with us and that He is guiding us. I do trust that He can bring good in so many different and amazing ways and that we need to have the patience to “Wait and see that the Lord is good.” In this day I think the invitation can be to grow your and my patience, and even more so our trust.